Posted on Mar 03, 2016, 6 a.m.
Women who regularly engage in physical activity have higher oxygen availability in a region of the brain necessary for difficult cognitive tasks.
Oxygen availability correlates to brain health and cognitive performance. Tracy A. Cameron, from the University of Otago (New Zealand), and colleagues assessed a group of 52 healthy young women for the role of regular engagement in physical activity on oxygen availability in the anterior frontal region of the brain – the area involved in completing difficult cognitive tasks. The researchers observed that: “Analyses positively linked chronic physical activity level with anterior frontal oxygenated hemoglobin and cognitive inhibitory control … In addition, higher anterior frontal oxygenated hemoglobin was linked to better performance for the most difficult cognitive task.” Observing that: “regular physical activity may lead to hemodynamic and cognitive benefits,” the study authors submit that: “the current discovery of a relationship with [chronic physical activity level] may provide important insight toward understanding exercise-cognition links.”
Tracy A. Cameron, Samuel J. E. Lucas, Liana Machado. “Near-infrared spectroscopy reveals link between chronic physical activity and anterior frontal oxygenated hemoglobin in healthy young women.” Psychophysiology, 11 Dec. 2014.